New Text-to-Speech function at Learn@WU!

The tool called ReadSpeaker ( will be available at Learn@WU as beta-version for testing purposes.

Benefits of the text-to-speech function:

  • The text-to-speech function is especially useful for pages containing a lot of text (e.g. in wikis or online textbooks).
  • On the part of the learning theory it is known that multi-modal learning helps to comprehend content better and more intensively. Several research studies report a memory retention rate of 50 percent if you read and listen to a text, 30 percent if you only listen to it and 20 percent if you only hear a text. A critical discussion on this topic is available at
  • The function is essential for students with reading problems (e.g. dyslexia) or some degree of visual impairment.
  • The function helps students whose native language is not German or English to learn the pronunciation of a text (German texts when the native language is not German, as well as English texts).
  • The function can also be used on mobile devices.

How does the text-to-speech function work?

The text-to-speech function can be used in three different ways. Each alternative enables you to specify individual settings like the speed of reading or text-highlighting options.

1) Using the function for whole webpages: Click on the button Vorlesefunktion_Listen Button.png or Vorlesefunktion_Vorlesen Button.png that is displayed at the top of each page. Below this button, a player is displayed that allows to choose from different settings. Depending on your general language settings at Learn@WU, the page is either read aloud by a German or an English voice.

2) Using the function for selected passages of a webpage: If you select text on a webpage, the button Vorlesefunktion_Listen Button.png or Vorlesefunktion_Vorlesen Button.png will show up next to your cursor. When you click on the button, a mini-player is displayed and the selected text is being read.

3) Using the function for PDFs: This function is currently only available for PDFs at Learn@WU's Teaching & Learning Academy (e.g. If you click on Vorlesefunktion_PDF Button.png, the PDF will be opened in a reader. You can then start the text-to-speech function by clicking on the „play“ button in the toolbar.

We welcome your feedback!

In order to find out more about the benefits or limitations of this tool, we appreciate your feedback.

Please provide us with your input to the following (or other) questions:

  • How do you like this tool?
  • Do you have ideas for potential use-cases?
  • How does this tool support your learning?

Please use the forum “Text-to-speech function” to post your comments and suggestions.

Thanks for your time and support!

Your Learn@WU team

Contributed by Marlis Sobernig